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Poll: Voters Doubt Govt's Ability to Fix Ebola, Jobs Crises

By    |   Thursday, 30 October 2014 06:21 PM

Americans are anxious about jobs, the nation, and Ebola — and have doubts about the government's ability to handle any of it, a USA Today poll released Thursday shows.

Two-thirds of those surveyed say America faces tougher problems than usual, and one in four calls them the biggest problems of their lifetimes, USA Today reports.

According to the new poll, 29 percent of respondents believe job creation is the top priority for Congress next year; six in 10 predict the United States will have to deal with the threat from Islamic State group (ISIS) well past 2014 — with four in 10 saying the battle will last more than five years, the poll finds.

Four in 10 believe a major Ebola outbreak is very or somewhat likely to occur in the U.S. over the next year, according to the survey. More than one in 10 say it's very or somewhat likely someone in their family will be sickened by Ebola. Yet four in 10 say they don't trust the federal government to handle the Ebola threat.

And though job creation ranks No. 1 with voters, the new survey found national security and terrorism rank second, cited by 21 percent of those surveyed. With Republicans, terrorism ranks first.

The anxious mood favors the GOP, which is bolstered by a fired-up base united in its opposition to President Barack Obama, the newspaper reports.

Only a third of those surveyed say they're satisfied with how things are going in the United States, akin to the mood at 1994 and 2006 midterms, when the party in power in the White House suffered setbacks and lost clout in the House, USA Today reports.

USA Today reports that "by significant margins," those surveyed prefer congressional Republicans when it comes to dealing with the economy and ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria; by double digits, they say congressional Democrats would do a better job in handling income inequality and social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, USA Today reports.

On dealing with the Ebola virus, one in five say they don't trust either party.

Among all registered voters, the Democratic congressional candidate is preferred over the Republican candidate by 5 points, 45 percent to 40 percent, USA Today reports. But among likely voters, the advantage shrinks to a single point, 43 percent to 42 percent.

The newspaper notes demographics may be playing a part; the pool of likely voters is older and more conservative; 7 percent of likely voters for the midterms are under 30, though younger voters made up 19 percent of those who cast ballots two years ago.

According to the survey, half of likely voters say Obama doesn't weigh in their vote for Congress, but among those who think he is a factor, by 2-1 they say they're casting a vote against him.

"It's a tough job ... but this is not the best we've had, that's for sure," Elizabeth Johnson, 58, a pharmacist from Morgantown, West Virginia, told USA Today. "The president is not very competent and the people he's chosen are not very competent."

More than four in 10 of those polled agreed, the newspaper reports.

The poll by Princeton Survey Research has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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Americans are anxious about jobs, the nation, and Ebola — and have doubts about the government's ability to handle any of it, a USA Today poll released Thursday shows.
poll, jobs, ebola, national security, ISIS, government
Thursday, 30 October 2014 06:21 PM
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